May 26, 2022

Parties Agree to Dispose of Remaining Issues in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Lawsuit

Ed. Note: A big thank you to Dave Hansen (UNC Reference Librarian and  Digital Library Fellow at the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law) for alerting us to the AGvHT development, sharing the primary document, and for also writing the news brief that’s posted below. Thanks Dave!!!

Guest Post For infoDOCKET by Dave Hansen:

On Tuesday the remaining issues in the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust lawsuit were disposed of by the agreement of the parties. While the main issues in that case were decided in HathiTrust’s favor last year before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, one claim was sent back down to the lower court for further consideration. That “remanded claim” was whether the remaining plaintiffs in the case had standing to challenge the defendant libraries’ practice of making replacement copies of books that have been lost, destroyed, or stolen.

In the filing dismissing this remaining claim, the Authors Guild was apparently satisfied with the libraries’ stipulation that the only replacement copies being made were those that followed the general guidelines of the statutorily-defined library and archive copyright exceptions in Section 108 of the Copyright Act. For a period of five years, the libraries obligated themselves to report back to the Authors Guild if they change their practices regarding replacement copies.

Direct to Court Filing (3 pages; PDF)

See Also: Scholarly Articles by Dave Hansen (via

See Also: Dave Hansen on Twitter, (@DigLibCopyright)

UPDATE 3: Formal Statement by HathiTrust on Resolution of Lawsuit

UPDATE 2: Authors Guild Drops HathiTrust Case (by Andrew Albanese, PW)

UPDATE 1: Additional Analysis for Krista Cox at ARL: “Authors Guild v. HathiTrust Litigation Ends in Victory for Fair Use”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.